Found in North America in the mid 1900's, the Lily Leaf Beetle is a pest that requires diligent control. The scarlet red beetle has a black head and black belly. If squeezed, it squeaks audibly. Females lay small red or brown eggs in irregular rows under lily leaves. Once the larva hatches, it gets to work, chewing up the entire leaf and moving onto other parts of the plant when that food is exhausted. The small grub covers itself in its own feces as protection, making it look like brown crud on the edges of a leaf it is eating from. Native lilies are at risk from the extensive feeding of this hungry larva. All varieties of true lilies can be attacked as well as Fritillaria, but daylilies do not seem to interest it.
Controlling the population is paramount to reducing the damage done by the beetle. Immediately removing adults by tapping the branch so they fall into soapy water is easier than trying to catch one running for cover. Removing and soaking affected leaves can kill small grubs hiding under feces. Daily examinations of lily plants are necessary to limit the beetle's damage. So far, the beetle has a range that includes eastern Canadian provinces and New England States, but that range is expanding. Beetles may hide in containers and the popularity of lilies means they are likely to spread farther if left unchecked. Recognizing and eliminating the beetle is necessary to keep plants healthy and alive.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.
Territorial Map U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Prince Edward Is.
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used for sensing.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.